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Watercolour Step by Step Demonstrations

'Ponies Near Scarborough'


This painting of ponies has a combination of 'warm' and 'cool' colours, especially in the foreground winter grasses.

The directional line formed by the fence posts provide an excellent 'lead in', introducing the viewer to the 'focal point' of the ponies. Recession is achieved by the use of cooler, hazy colours in the distance.

Materials Used:

Paper: 'Arches' Block, 300lb NOT


14ml tubes in the following artists colours: Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Magenta and Burnt Sienna


Number 4, 8 and 10 Escoda Perl synthetic brushes. A number 2 Pro-Arte 'Rigger' and number 6 and 8 Rosemary Kolinsky sables

Masking Fluid

Step 1:

The drawing was undertaken using a 2B pencil.

Next, the highlights were 'masked out' using traditional 'Rowney' Masking Fluid.


Initial washes using the following pure colours were then prepared:

Pure separate pools of Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet and Raw Sienna.

It may help to have a weak and strong mix of each. These three colours are the basic primaries upon which the entire painting is based.

Further washes of:

Aureolin plus Raw Sienna

Raw Sienna plus Cobalt Violet

Raw Sienna plus Burnt Sienna

Raw Sienna plus Cerulean

Cobalt Blue plus Cobalt Violet

Cobalt Blue plus Raw Sienna

Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta and a touch of Raw Sienna

Ultramarine Blue plus Burnt Sienna

Burnt Sienna plus Ultramarine Blue

Ultramarine Blue plus Raw Sienna

The paper was then wet over its entirety.

Step 2:

The paint was then added to the damp paper, using predominantly 'pure' colours, and a few of the 'lighter' mixes, allowing the pigments to mix & diffuse on the paper.

The sky was painted using only Raw Sienna, Cobalt Violet and Cobalt Blue.

The paper was then left to dry completely before the next stage.

Step 3:

Using a clean, dry finger some of the masking fluid was removed from the ponies.

A combination of Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet and Raw Sienna was introduced to the distant landscape.

Mixes of Ultramarine Blue plus Burnt Sienna and Burnt Sienna plus Ultramarine Blue, together with touches of Cobalt Violet and Raw Sienna were introduced into the ponies.

Step 4:

Additional washes using the same mixes were applied to the rest of the ponies.


Step 5:

The rest of the masking fluid was carefully removed.

NOTE: Masking fluid always leaves some unwanted 'hard' edges, some of these were softened using a damp brush.

Fairly pale washes of Aureolin plus Raw Sienna and Cerulean Blue plus Raw Sienna can now be carefully painted over the fields.

Washes of Raw Sienna plus Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta, Raw Sienna plus Cobalt Violet and Burnt Sienna plus Ultramarine Blue were added to the fence posts, trees and dried grasses at this stage.

Fine twigs, branches and other details were added using the number 2 'Rigger'.   

Step 6:

Transparent washes of the following pure colours were introduced to the foreground grasses:

Raw Sienna, Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna.

Final details such as the barbed wire, further twigs and branches etc, were added using the 'Rigger' and mixes of Ultramarine Blue plus Burnt Sienna and Burnt Sienna plus Ultramarine Blue.


(The completed painting)

'Ponies Near Scarborough'


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